Articles tagged with: Scales

13 April 2019

Exotic Tunings for 17-Note Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Reinvent your Kalimba, Re-energize your Kalimba Playing

Exotic Tunings for 17-Note Kalimba

If you ever get to the point where you feel your kalimba is old hat, or you cannot think of anything new to do on it, you need to come back to this article.

By retuning your kalimba to a new tuning, you basically get a new instrument that presents you with a new world view and plays new music, all for the price of... the five or ten minutes it will take for you to retune your kalimba.

You would be amazed - these tunings sound so rich and amazing and different! Just listen to each one. Each is a land I would love to explore.

16 April 2019

10 Easy Tips - Scales on the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

These Tips will help you discover new scales on your kalimba - and their format fits perfectly on your phone!

10 Easy Tips - Scales on the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Learning your kalimba's musical scale is very important to understanding your kalimba and the music it can make. The scale is like a magic key that will open many doors. But what if I told you that your kalimba, just as it is, plays several different scales?

Each scale is like a universe of musical possibilities. We have ten tips for you about how to use four different scales, on the 17-Note in C, in your music. Each of these four scales is like a different land, or a different flavor. If you want this sort of richness in your kalimba playing, read on!

20 October 2018

The Making of A Celtic-D Karimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is part of what "Available Only At Kalimba Magic" really means

The Making of A Celtic-D Karimba

When they get an order, most of the world's kalimba purveyors just pull an instrument off the shelf, pack it in a box, and put a label on it.

At Kalimba Magic, we do so much more. We fine-tune the instrument. We paint the tines for guidance. Sometimes we retune the instrument to a different tuning.

And sometimes we just take the whole thing apart, rearrange the kalimba, and rebuild it as a totally different beast.

That is how we make the Celtic D Kalimba, SaReGaMa karimbas, and a whole host of custom-tuned instruments.

Follow along as I work my magic to create a Celtic D:

29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 1

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

While the scale isn't the easiest thing to play on kalimba, you should have it at your fingertips

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 1

The notes your kalimba plays are probably just like the white notes on the piano. However, the way you play them ends up being totally different from a piano... because the notes are organized differently than on a piano.

Playing a scale on a piano, especially just on the white notes, is quite easy.

Playing a scale on the kalimba is a bit harder, but the scale is one of the most useful bits of music you can learn - so please do learn these scales!

29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 2

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

Here is a song you know that utilizes the scale in its melody

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 2

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

The scale zigzags back and forth, left and right on your kalimba, gradually moving toward ever-shorter tines (to go up) or ever longer tines (to go down the scale).

But why learn scales at all? Because they are useful. Check out Bach's "Minuet in G" - yes, transposed to the C kalimba. If you can play your scales, you have already mastered half the notes.

29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 3

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

The Kalimba Plays Many Scales - here is a D Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 3

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

If you start on the middle tine - C - and alternate - right - left - right - left outward and upward and stop 8 notes higher, on the left side's C, you have just made the C major scale.

Now, instead of starting and ending on C, try starting on the low D just left of the center tine... and alternate your way up the scale, and stop on D. This is a D minor scale.

29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 4

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

Here is a kalimba melody that uses the D Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 4

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

This tip illustrates some music you can play in the D minor mode of your kalimba. Of course, the real lesson is for YOU to create some music in the D minor mode, so pay attention to this music and then try your hand at creating your own.

 

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 5

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

Here is the A Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 5

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

 We have already learned that different scales can be made by playing eight tonally consecutive notes on the kalimba, zigzagging our way back and forth over the instrument.

We have played the D minor scale, made by starting on D, and going to E, F, G, A, B, C, and ending on D.

We can get a slightly different minor scale by doing the same procedure, but starting on A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A.

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 6

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

An example of a song that uses the A Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 6

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

Really, this song lives in the A minor scale. It breathes the air and drinks the water of A minor. It knows the curves and twists of A minor, and it follows them. It is founded on the land of A minor.

OK - I like to be dramatic.

Do you remember the song "Those Were the Days, My Friend"? That is an example of a song that lives and breathes in a minor scale.

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 7

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

Edging Up and Down the A minor scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 7

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

This is a great sort of exercise to help you gain familiarity with your kalimba. Each measure only has three different notes - for example, in the first measure, it goes A B C B A. It even rests a little extra time on that last note, to give you a chance to prepare for the next part.

And what is the next part? This exercise, which I call a "spider," inches up and back down... and then does it again, a little higher. And again, each time edging higher and higher.

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 8

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

The G Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 8

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

The G major scale usually has an F# in it. However, if you play a G scale - 8 tonally consecutive notes - on a 17-Note Kalimba in C, you will have an F natural, or a flatted 7th in the otherwise major scale.

In music theory terms, this is the G Mixolydian mode.

To me, that flat 7th is the first step toward minorness, and it introduces a funky sort of feel.

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 9

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

The Upper Octave of the C Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 9

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

Do the math. You have a 17-Note kalimba. There are 8 notes in one octave of a scale. For the C Major scale, which starts on the very lowest note on your kalimba, you will be able to get a higher octave version of that scale.

And here it is now!

30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 10

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

A Melody Using the Upper Octave of the C Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 10

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

We used the opening melody of the Bach Minuet in G as an example of how scale segments are used in melodies.

Now that we have had a look at the upper octave of the C Major scale, I take you back to the Minuet melody.

24 November 2017

First Lesson on the Celtic D Karimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Two simple chords and a trick for using them together

First Lesson on the Celtic D Karimba

While the Celtic D Karimba is made for, and excels at, all sorts of jigs and reels and waltzes, I'm going to show you in this first lesson what it loves to do the most: a very simple two-chord progression.

You don't even need to know what a chord progression is  - you just follow the colors on the tines.

I suggest you mark the tines of these two chords with two contrasting colors of Sharpie markers. The marks help make playing the chords very simple and can easily be removed with an alcohol wipe. I use green and red in this case.